Sunday, June 24, 2007

Io and Jove: On the Theft of her Voice

Io had it all…
A fat cat daddy…
And a house on the coast.
Beauty, brains,
This girl was built.
In her salon she excelled...
Small talk or substance,
The news of the day…
Io told it all…
She could talk until
the cows came home.
Who would have dreamed
That the dregs of society
Could dress in the raiment of royals?

A frenzied pursuit,
And the fog closes in.
His voice thunders, “By Jove
I'm a king,
She’s a cow!
I'll teach this
foolish heifer how
To pay proper respect to a royal.”
Jove pursues Io
And when the deed’s done...
Once lovely, refined
Is boorishly bovine.

Her fatuous father?
Displays of outrage!
Demands for justice!
Those gods have gone too far!
Her superior sire simply
hands her some hay.
“You were difficult as a daughter
But I thought you’d wed a god…
And a cow
...perhaps a brahmin born bull..."

Disheartened Io continues to roam
Her sad cow eyes
In search of a home,
Until finally
The gods take pity.

Io has it all…
A fat cat daddy…
And a house on the coast.
Beauty, brains,
this girl is built.
But as far as entertaining
In her tony salon…
These days
She’s afraid to open her mouth.
Who knows what might come out?
A cheerful bon mot
Or a mournful moo,
Better to sit
in her corner.

Image: Wilhelm Bauer (1600 - 1642): Nuremburg


Anonymous said...

Who wrote this?

Books r Us said...

I did. I'm experimenting with different voices, narratives, rhythms. Criticism is most welcome.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I wouldn't have guessed. I figure you for a math/music type. I was impressed with these poems. I'll take a closer third look.

Books r Us said...

Math??????!!!! I really like music and language. What I really love is looking at unfamiliar languages and trying to understand them. I also love stumbling upon a completely unfamiliar word and making up a story about it, or playing around with the sounds before looking it up in the dictionary. It's fun when I guess right, fun when I guess

But I'm glad you like this. I don't like "superior sire simply"...the alliteration is too sibilant and it lacks sublety. But I like the feel of it when reading aloud and I haven't come up with alternatives with quite the same connotation. Still working on it.

Anonymous said...

When I studied vocabulary for the GRE, I started by reciting what I thought were the meanings of many, many words. I was wrong far more frequently than I ever would have expected. Latin is years away for me. I still first have to dive back into English!

I too am driven to write by words I see, or think. Phrases do it for me too. I thought of this recently "Rose colored goggles." I am going to work a bit on the story that I'd like to put up around this phrase.